Diamond 17: Give me Love
Diamond 17: Give me Love
Delia made her way down the halls of the Viridian City Gym with a zombie-like expression and constant yawns and a few sobs. She had worked so hard, she hardly had time to mourn the lost pokemon, though she knew she had to keep moving forward.
"I can't believe you managed to make yourself look awake when Jenny was here," Giovanni himself was also extremely tired, though he seemed to generally need less sleep than Delia, having become accustomed to getting little over the years.
Delia yawned again and looked at Giovanni, who was bit out of focus, "I had to," she started falling forward and he caught her.
"We can rest now; Team Rocket has new headquarters and a great cover. Things will be much easier from now on," Giovanni wasn't sure if Delia was listening, or if she was sleepwalking along with him.
They came to a door and entered; Delia made her way to the bed, dizzy with sleep and gently petted the egg that accompanied her throughout her entire adventure, feeling its temperature. She lay down next to it, her expression at last peaceful, glad to finally put her head on a pillow.
"When is this thing going to hatch?" To Giovanni it felt as if the egg had been with them for too long and he wondered if it would hatch at all.
"Hmm?" Delia opened her eyes again a bit surprised at how close Giovanni was, as much as the egg between them allowed. "Soon, and you can't sleep here, I'm sleeping here."
"This is the biggest room, it goes to the leader," Giovanni calmly pointed out, as if it were the most obvious fact.
"You said it was mine," Delia reminded.
"Only because I'm sharing it with you," he had that same expression once again, mischievous, though this time also sleepy, but just enough to live up to his Charmander nickname.
However, Delia was too tired to argue, she would leave that for later, "fine, you're too tired to misbehave anyway, aren't you Charmander?" No more words were spoken between them, Giovanni not bothering to celebrate his little victory too much, as he was indeed exhausted. They drifted off to sleep with no immediate worries for the first time in a long time.
xoxox xox xoxox
It was a strange feeling that woke her, like a pulsation from the egg and there was a lot of warmth, more than ever before. Delia wasn't sure how many hours had passed, but the room was dark, though not pitch black. Was it sunset? It had been the afternoon when she fell asleep, but she felt too rested for it to have been only a few hours to the evening. Then she realized the sun wasn't setting, she should be able to see it from the open window if it were, it was instead rising, the night had gone by and a new day had began.
Giovanni was still there, resting, she was sure he was resting with his eyes close and not really sleeping, he didn't need thirteen hours of sleep, even after draining all his energy, ten might have been enough to catch on sleep for him, maybe even eight. Delia examined what caused her to wake up, the pulsations from the egg and its increased warmth; the egg was finally hatching.
If she was the first living being the newborn pokemon saw, then the baby would think she was its mother, but maybe she wouldn't be the first. Perhaps Giovanni would benefit more from the experience of taking care of a pokemon since birth. Who wouldn't love a cute little baby pokemon? Maybe he would care more about pokemon in general if he raised this one.
"Giovanni, are you awake?" Delia called softly, the decision having been made, albeit without his input.
He opened his eyes too quickly to have been sleeping; he had woken up first, just as she thought. "The egg is... doing something," he didn't seem too interested, but still a little curious.
"I know; it will hatch soon," Delia handed the egg to Giovanni. "Be careful not to hurt the baby, break the shell gently," she instructed.
"Why? Isn't it coming out on its own?" Giovanni was puzzled by this, he had never heard of a pokemon egg needing help hatching before.
"The shell is too thick; I noticed it when I examined the egg to make sure it was healthy. It must have been a natural defense. If it's was born on its own good, but I knew that if after a while it didn't come out, it would need help. Let's not keep the baby waiting," Delia encouraged; she smiled warmly, truly enjoying the moment.
"Why do I have to do this?" Giovanni complained, "I don't know anything about baby pokemon." He had always preferred strong grown up pokemon, babies couldn't battle as well as fully grown pokemon and he saw little benefits in raising a small pokemon versus catching a strong adult. Besides, if he did make a mistake and end up hurting the little pokemon, Delia would be terribly upset.
"Because you'll be its father," Delia insisted, her expression unchanged, excited and happy. "I did most of the work keeping it warm so now you have to do something for the baby too."
"If you wanted a child, you should have just said so," Giovanni replied, his mischievous grin returning without a hint of drowsiness this time.
"Stop it Charmander, you need to focus, this is important!" Delia scolded him, but laughed while doing so, albeit her voice did not lose its sense of urgency.
The egg in Giovanni's hands vibrated impatiently, as if the baby could hear the voices outside and wanted whoever was out there to set it free. "Alright, how hard can it be?" Giovanni finally agreed and tried to break the egg, though it was difficult knowing how much force to apply. He tried to pull the top of the egg off and it cracked, "you really should do this yourself."
"You're doing fine, don't give up, can't you even handle a baby pokemon?" Delia teased, knowing that would make Giovanni want to prove her wrong.
"Fine, I'll do it," he carefully started to pry off a piece of the egg from the crack that had formed until he removed it and saw a glitter of gold inside, surrounded in white. He finished pulling the top of the egg off carefully.
The baby Meowth stuck his little head out of the remains of the egg, staring up at Giovanni curiously. "Meowth!" It called out in a little high pitched voice. For a new born, it was certainly loud.
"Aw, so cute!" Delia had witnessed pokemon eggs hatch a few times before, though she was never the first being the pokemon saw; every time it felt special. "Hold him, I'll get a blanket."
Delia hurried to find a small blanket, rushing back to Giovanni and wrapping the newborn pokemon in it, though she still insisted on making him hold the little Meowth, now wrapped in light blue.
"This will be a challenge," Delia voiced, although she spoke without worry, but with the excitement of looking forward to it.
Giovanni didn't like where the conversation was going, he didn't think such a tiny creature was really work too much work. "What do you mean? It's a pokemon, how hard can it be to train it?"
"He's too young and since you were the first living being he saw, he'll be very attached to you," Delia explained, having purposely hidden that fact, which Giovanni soon realized.
"You did that on purpose..." It was a conclusion, rather than a question.
Delia nodded, with no intentions of hiding the truth any longer. "I thought it would do you some good to raise a pokemon since birth. Be good to him, this one is like a child to me after I carried the egg around for so long and kept it warm."
"So he's our child?"
"That's right and that means he'll need special care since he's still a baby. He's too young to go in a pokeball right now. He might meow now and then wanting food or attention. We can't give him regular pokemon food yet, but there is food for baby pokemon that he'll be able to eat," Delia began to go over a mental list of the necessary things to take care of the baby Meowth.
Annoyed by the thought of a baby pokemon constantly demanding attention, Giovanni began to ask, "are you telling me this thing-"
"Don't call our child a thing!" Delia scolded, pouting and pointing, shaking her finger for emphasis.
"Right, sorry..." Giovanni tried to be patient, though there was some sarcasm evident in his tone, "are you telling me our son," it felt odd to call a pokemon his son, "will require constant care?"
"Yes," Delia nodded.
"That he'll cry in the middle of the night wanting milk or something?"
"That he'll need a lot of attention all the time?"
"That means you'll have no inconveniences in staying here?"
"Ye-Huh?" Delia paused and blinked, caught in her automatic affirmations.
Giovanni was a little mused despite the situation, by catching Delia saying yes to everything. "If Meowth is attached to me and stays here, then you need to stay here to because you're his mother and without your help I'll end up shoving him in a pokeball," he explained as a matter of facts.
Delia took a deep breath and went over the possibilities, before finally agreeing, under certain conditions, "okay fine, I'll share this room with you, but it's just so I can help take care of the baby, nothing else. Stop grinning like that Charmander, this doesn't mean anything!"
"Meowth!" The little pokemon sounded cheerful, amused by his parents, though he didn't really understand what they were talking about.
xoxox xox xoxox
The little Meowth was happy to be perched on Giovanni's shoulder while the Team Rocket leader went about his business every day. Giovanni was annoyed at first; thinking having a cute little kitten on him all the time completely ruined his image. Eventually he got over it, resolving to simply punch or kick anyone who dared to make any comments, but thankfully, no one was stupid or suicidal enough to say anything so it didn't come to that.
As expected, the information from Venom's research led Professor Oak to discover the cure for the terrible epidemic that threatened all pokemon. As agreed, the formula was handed over to Team Rocket and at the same time submitted for official review and mass production, though that would certainly take time.
While the bureaucracy did its tests, Giovanni raised to power in Viridian City as the new gym leader, using his supply of antidote along with a little pressure to make sure the city gave its approval. Everything went smoothly, exactly as planned.
That was not the only benefit of having the cure first. With it, the sick pokemon that survived the battle with Venom were healed of their illness and steadily recovering from their physical injuries, thus Team Rocket had many more pokemon at their disposal than they had in a long time. They were ready to take on the smaller gangs to the east all at once, even if they banded together to face the thereat. Spreading their territory taking advantage of the shortage of healthy pokemon that still reigned over most of Kanto, brought fast and abundant growth for Team Rocket.
They still stole pokemon from random trainers at times, not just from other gangs. Delia saw taking the pokemon away from the other gangs as rescuing them, but she got angry when she heard a seemingly good trainer had been robbed. It was something that made Delia and Giovanni bicker now and then, though they always made up in the end and found a way to look at the situation differently; a new point of view in which Team Rocket and their relationship appeared to be alright for them both.
With this new power and stability, which was maintained even after the cure was made public and the pokemon in the area began to recover, came abundant riches and resources for Team Rocket. That's when Delia started receiving frequent presents from Giovanni, expensive things, especially diamonds.
She had a golden jewelry box where her diamonds were kept, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, yellow gold with diamonds, white gold with diamonds, diamonds and sapphires, diamonds and rubies, diamonds and emeralds, diamonds bigger than she thought she would ever see. He looked happy to be able to give her those gifts and it was seeing that which was the real gift for Delia.
It was many months later that the promised victory party finally took place. It was a formal event, covered in elegance and riches, though beyond the sparkle of jewelry and the sea of dresses and tuxedoes, Delia saw friends who had become dear to her and a growing love.
It had been that night that many things happened; the picture that Delia would later take with her when she left Team Rocket was taken that very night. At that time, she was happy, and despite their different priorities and goals, she thought she would be with Giovanni forever. She smiled when the picture was taken, not knowing what kind of choices waited in the future.
It was during that party that a special guest slipped in, camouflaged among the multitude of new Team Rocket members. "Is that your girlfriend, brat boy?"
Giovanni knew her, but he couldn't believe she would be there and he was not pleased with her presence. "Why are you here?"
"I just came to see you. It seems you've made a name for yourself, well done. Since I'm retiring, you can have my resources," the woman was old enough to be Giovanni's mother, though she still had a certain youthful appearance for her age with wavy dark hair she wore down and an elegant black dress.
"I don't need your help," Giovanni refused without a second thought, while Delia stared at the unknown woman in confusion.
"I know; that's why I'm giving them to you," she smiled at her own irony. "Well, it's been nice seeing you again, brat boy. Make sure you train my grandchild well enough to handle all this," the woman turned away and started to leave.
"We need better security," Giovanni muttered glaring after her.
Delia suddenly came to a realization about her identity and dashed after the older woman before Giovanni could stop her, "wait! You're Madame Boss, right? Why don't you stay for the party?"
"Oh my, you're so innocent and naive, at least that's what it seems," Madame Boss laughed teasingly. "She has such a good girl face, I bet she's very dangerous, eh, brat boy?"
"Stop calling me that, just hurry up and leave!" Giovanni insisted in annoyance.
Madame Boss looked amused, "You're so stubborn; I bet if you two have a kid, the child will be just as stubborn as you." With those finally words of parting, she disappeared between the partying Team Rocket members and was not seen again.
"Giovanni, she's your mother," Delia complained about his behavior, though there was also a hint of support.
"I know; I let her go, didn't I?" That would have to be enough. "C'mon, let's enjoy the party, forget that even happened," Giovanni knew Madame Boss wouldn't cause any more trouble; she had her fun infiltrating their part and annoying him.
It wasn't too long before Delia did forget about the incident and was caught up in the feeling of victory, power and hope that was all around, though what they were hoping for varied from one person to another.
xoxox xox xoxox
As time passed, team Rocket moved further away from what Delia was hoping it would become, but it wasn't all bad. Giovanni didn't complain about taking care of Meowth anymore. He also showered her with gifts constantly, though Delia insisted he didn't have to do so much, that just spending time together was enough, at least he somehow showed he cared. There were moments during those times of bliss that Delia would treasure for the rest of her life.
After Team Rocket had taken over the Viridian City Gym, though their presence there remained unknown to the general public beyond simple rumors that would fade in time, those from the police who knew the truths ordered to be secrets by the mayor, eventually began to think that only their boss was there, and their actual base was elsewhere. Team Rocket showed no signs of coming and going, instead extending the underground passages in secret and using them to go in and out of their secret base in Viridian.
Delia was reassured she made the right choice in letting Giovanni raise the little Meowth, she knew it every time she saw them; Meowth always got special treatment. Giovanni still didn't seem to care too much about his other pokemon, but he was nicer to them when Delia was around, and she made sure they were alright. Aside from Meowth, Golem seemed to be his second favorite.
Giovanni didn't go on missions anymore; he directed them now and did the planning, but that was even more time consuming. Delia took care of his pokemon and gave him her views on Team Rocket's latest activities, which sometimes led to arguments, but they didn't stay angry for long.
They were aware of their differences, but they were also well aware of what they liked about each other. She could live like this, even if the expensive gifts were a bit excessive at times and there were some disagreements. Giovanni was trying to make her feel more comfortable, she knew that. Maybe he tried to make up for the fact that the reality had sunk in and deep down Delia knew Team Rocket would never be a band of righteous vigilantes.
It was alright, she could live with it, even if years ago she would have scolded herself for even considering accepting what Team Rocket did. She would still try to make the situation as good as it could be within the range available. Overall, Delia felt appreciated, happy and loved, that was enough.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. Team Rocket is not totally a secret? Not really, it's a big organization that openly searches for new members, something so big cannot be kept in total secrecy, but it can become powerful enough for the police to avoid a direct conflict and even try to keep it a secret from the general public to avoid a panic, specially if there are some high connections involved.
Originally this was going to be the end of the past story and we would return to the present at this point, but I have one more tale of the past to give you, which contrasts with this one and shows a different stage of Delia and Giovanni's lives. This next part of the story is a bit different from the first, lighter in many aspects and it also carries a different mood, the transition between the dream-like existence and the reality that insists on being accepted. It's not going to be all gloomy, so don't worry, there will be fun and good times too.